Teaching with Instagram

Instagram is a favorite visual social networking website. Folks share all kinds of gorgeous visuals to discuss their own lives and their tales. But have you thought about utilizing Instagram as a research and teaching tool?

I had the honor to run a Facebook live meeting with an Science Communication Specialist to your Louisiana State College of Science. Paige is an professional social networking user in educational settings particularly in educating scientists to utilize social networking. Among the many social networking websites, Paige’s specialty is in utilizing Instagram as a research and teaching tool. She conducts workshops in this region and it’s also a social networking advisor.

Paige participated within an abysmal dialogue with me and also my Facebook live crowd. We experienced a lively and interactive conversation concerning tools, suggestions, challenges, and best methods of utilizing Instagram as a research and teaching tool in higher education. You may click on the movie below to see a replay of the live meeting or visit my Facebook site to see it. Within the following guide, I discuss a few important highlights.

Paige embarked on her sociable websites travel while she had been a grad student. Her journey started with blogging. She’s the creator of a favorite science website called, In the Lab Bench. Through routine blogging and constant social networking jobs, Paige found the ability of social networking to convey ideas, to develop online communities, and also to make effect.

She switched her doctoral analysis from Biomedical Engineering into some diploma in Mass Communication. Wow! What a switch. However, she never looked back. And lots of chances arose as a consequence of her busy social networking presence.


Paige did not become busy on Instagram before a year ago. 2 chief reasons brought her into the stage. One is that her pupils are about Instagram, but aren’t utilizing it in professional manners. That is really spot on. I heard from my teaching experience which our pupils, so-called electronic natives, aren’t necessarily digitally informed. They are proficient in using social media for individual communication and entertainment functions, although not concerning business and skilled utilization of social networking as a strategic communication tool.

The next motive that attracted Paige into Instagram is its own visual elements. People are naturally attracted to images. As most of us say,”a photo is worth a million words” More individuals are utilizing Instagram to participate in visual storytelling. Even among scientists, even Instagram is gaining momentum and popularity.

Best Practices

Utilization of societal media should be matched with your objective. I can’t agree with Paige if she said that. Failing to define my own “why” was the single most important mistake that I made in my interpersonal websites travel. We will need to believe strategically about our societal networking presence. Below are a few questions which Paige indicated we request before we determine to become on a particular social networking platform.

Attractive images

How do you deliver your picture to another level? Have you got a exceptional angle when you shoot an image? Take pictures of items which people do not ordinarily get to watch. Discover from online tools and reflect in your skills to get improved images. Try to be more creative with your image taking and consider the story which you need your image to communicate.

Creating community

Social networking is a network two-way and building communicating instrument. Do not use it like a one time broadcasting platform which focuses solely on yourself. Rather, use social networking to construct a community on your own.

Leverage hashtags

Paige created a fantastic point that Instagram is much less searchable because Twitter. The research API isn’t so great. By way of instance, if you put in the term “biology,” that you are unlikely to locate each and every individual who utilizes math within their bios. Because of this, everything must operate via hashtags. Doing hashtag hunts may also help you discover your tribe of men and women who share similar interests.

You’ve got to always and think of what hashtags to utilize so you can be discover-able. Think of what hashtags individuals may use one of individuals who share your interests that are similar. Do your own research to locate the very best hashtags to utilize. Do not just randomly select hashtags to utilize.

If you would like to find out more about utilizing hashtag for company functions, Hootsuite provides an entire Instagram Hashtag manual for Company.

Applying Instagram

Paige shared a fantastic mission illustration of how to utilize Instagram to record students’ learning travel. By way of instance, in an introductory math course, she made the mission of requiring pupils to make collages to record how plants develop on Instagram. With this very easy mission, students may find out the way to make science artwork within an art and a science. By way of instance, perhaps students may set a ruler near a plant to provide the audiences a framework of reference to just how well the plant is rising.

In precisely exactly the exact identical time, instruct pupils to caption their own Instagram articles. Just how much information should move there? You can’t simply say,”hi, but consider this pretty plant” However, make a context for the image to tell a narrative by simply covering the five Ws (if, where, why, that, and how). Teach pupils how to make rich information and take part in mathematics writing on social websites in a way to engage their viewers.

Teachers may also utilize Instagram and all these missions to make a course community. Ask pupils to participate with other pupils and also to look in their crops on Instagram for instance. And also have an intellectual argument about why a person’s plants grow faster and better than many others. Teachers then develop a community for pupils to participate class content out the course.

That I really like this mission illustration Paige shared. It reveals how a straightforward social networking mission can transcend class boundaries along with its walls by making a digital community. This manner, pupils aren’t just learning and interacting together in the course, but with the wider community too. For me personally, this is if real learning occurs.

Public Trust

That really is a very trendy research endeavor that Paige and her staff do. They would like to understand if scientists’ use of social websites can enhance public confidence of the research . To put it differently, will scientists’ humanized Instagram articles affect audiences’ senses of scientists’ proficiency and heat?

If you’re as curious as I’m in this interesting endeavor, please make certain that you follow along with their Instagram accounts. Paige and her staff has just begun the job. I can’t wait to listen to their findings. Perhaps that is going to be the opportunity to invite Paige to return to my own Facebook live series.